George Lucas will open Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles

American film director George Lucas, at a press conference in Singapore, to promote his movie, Strange Magic.
American film director George Lucas, at a press conference in Singapore, to promote his movie, Strange Magic.PHOTO: ST FILE

NEW YORK (NYTimes) - Film-maker George Lucas plans to open his Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, ending a monthslong competition between Los Angeles and San Francisco, which both vied to host the museum. The museum's board of directors announced the decision in a statement on Tuesday (Jan 10).

The creator of Star Wars has spent years making plans to open a museum for his collection of fine and popular art. After previous plans to open in Chicago were cancelled, Lucas and his architects revealed designs for both San Francisco and Los Angeles, causing months of speculation about which city was a better spot for his futuristic-looking museum.

He has pledged to finance the US$1 billion project, which is expected to bring thousands of construction and museum jobs to the city. The museum will house his collection of some 10,000 paintings and book and magazine illustrations assembled over decades, including several by Norman Rockwell, as well as Hollywood memorabilia from his films.

He had previously tried to open his museum in San Francisco's Presidio park and the lakefront in downtown Chicago, but faced considerable opposition in each location and scrapped those plans before turning to the two California cities with new plans. The museum in Exposition Park will be surrounded by several other museums that already attract visitors.

The Los Angeles location "best positions the museum to have the greatest impact on the broader community, fulfilling our goal of inspiring, engaging and educating a broad and diverse visitorship", the board of directors wrote in the statement. The Exposition Park site is steps away from a Metro stop, and just across the street from the University of Southern California, Lucas' alma mater.